I currently own a D200 and I am looking to upgrade to a D300 or D700. I have the following lenses: 18-200 VR, 10.5 fisheye, 50 F1.4 and the 70 - 200 f/2.8. I shoot everything: portraits, model portfolios, wildlife, landscapes & sports. I currently do not like pushing the D200 above ISO 400. I understand that the D300 should give me usable action shots at 1600 ISO while the D700 will allow me to work at an ISO of 6400. So now comes the big question, do I select the higher ISO range (great for low light) or the greater reach (1.5x) for sports and wildlife?
I am hoping to decide by this Monday: Amazon has the D300 for $1560 and the D700 for $2799 and are offering both at 24 mos interest-free through the end of the month.
What a nice place to be, selecting between two great cameras. If you go with the D700 and you get an increase in what you consider the noiseless ISO range, you also increase the possibilities more than the perceived 1.5 factor you are talking about (that you already have on the D200). The D700 gives you wide angle capabilities that the D300 does not. And the 1.5 factor is a perception issue. The light coming from an object going through a lens is the same whether you have an FX or DX. Becasue the DX is a smaller sensor, it uses less light (smaller image circle) to fill up more of the frame. You could accomplish the same effect with a post processing crop of the image. But, all things have a cost. The increased ISO capability of the D700 is based to some degree on larger pixels. That is why for the D700 you have a larger sensor but same number of pixels as the D300. That is also why, when using a DX lens of the FX body you only get 5MP. There could be many spirited discussions about this topic. Some things are relatively clear though. The light hitting the sensor (for both cameras) comes from the same place, it goes through the same glass (assuming you use the same lens)and therefore receives the same magnification. So, how much light hits a sensor will be based on the size of the sensor. From a resolution perspective, one would think that a higher pixel density should result in a higher resolution and a higher file size. Likewise, a larger sensor size with the same file size means a lower pixel density. (and we could go on for awhile).
Bottom line, if money is no problem, it seems like the D700 is the way to go as it expands your picture taking capabilities more than just the increased ISO sensitivity you would get from the D300.
I kept my D200 for most of my wildlife shots, and bought the D700. I use the D700 for some wildlife and everything else (macro, landscape, etc.). I was in the Canadian Rockies in August and this worked out well for me. Although I had never been one to use higher ISO values, I find that with the D700 I do use them (more often than I would have thought as I am talking pictures in lighting/wind conditions in which I would never have taken pictures before). I'm very happy with the D700 and glad I didn't get the D300 instead, even though I spent a lot more money on the D700. I feel I'm getting pictures with the D700 that I simply wouldn't have gotten with the D300.
Get a D300 for its reach with tele lenses. For e.g. wildlife reach is an important consideration. A D300 also allows you to use your present two DX lenses without compromises. In my view the D300 is a much better camera than the D200, but then the D200 might be good enough for your requirements.
Get a D700 for its better low-light performance and possibilities with wide-angle lenses, but be prepared to pay a lot for some new lenses.
I've owned all 3. I sold my D200 the second I got the D300 - the handling, dynamic focus 3D and picture control is far superior to the D200.
I got the D700 so I can use my old wide lenses and fisheye. Now, I prefer the D700 over the D300: * full frame, and GREAT high ISO results. I usually shoot JPEGs in available light - no post processing. * dedicated info button - I use it all the time. Never used it on the D300. * less cluttered control panel (aka top LCD). Either ways, I've started using the shooting INFO screen instead more often. * ability to set ADR to Auto. * Extra copyright fields.
Other things I did not consider include: * lesser viewfinder coverage. * lesser maximum frame rate. * virtual horizon on the D700.
Clearly money is no object to you (great difference in price between the D300 and D700). So if I were you, I would get the D700, but you won't benefit much from your existing DX lenses on your new camera.
If money was an issue, I would even consider the plasticy D90 instead. It carries most of the D300 features.
If you insist on a D300, I'll be more than happy to sell you mine at a competitive price!
With a DX lens such as the 18-200 on the D700 you will be getting images with fewer pixels than an older 6MP D70, and the images suffer. I have not been happy with this combo, and consider the D700 body as backup to my DX body when using DX lenses. Fortunately for me, all my lenses except my 18-200 are FX lenses.
If you want to go to the D700 then you probably need to get a good 28-300 lens to go with it. Either that, or bring along your DX body whenever you want to use the 18-200. This is the cheaper solution.
I'm in the same boat as you. I have a D200 which I still love and plan to keep as a back up. I shoot a lot of wildlife (birds), BUT for work, I have to shoot a lot of other things including events in all kinds of lighting.
I've decided on the D700 for all the reasons already mentioned. Just the high ISO performance alone will open many situations up for me and make my life easier on different gigs.
I will still use my D200 for reach since my long set up consists of only a 300mm f4 and teleconverters.
I just feel the D700 is more of an upgrade for me in my situation than the D300.
Hey mate i'm in the same boat as you, i am currently using a D200, and i just ordered my D700, i'll be keeping the D200 for a backup camera and also for when i need more reach on my zooms, i'm hoping it's going ot be a mean combo!
either way you decide you are going to get a great camera, personally i couldn't pass up that full frame sensor
I cannot decide for you but for me the decision would be easy. I do not have any DX lenses and I shoot more with wide-angle lenses than with telephoto lenses; therefore, I would get the D700 rather than the D300.
I am also a D200 owner, a verry fine camera. But i do not have to choose, i will order a D700 and skip te D300. In the past i invested already in FF lenses, i don't have any DX lens. 20-35 2.8, 50 1.4, 85 1.8, 105DC 2.0 & 180 2.8
I will sell theD200 with the 20-35mm, its a beautiful lens on film, but not on digital. Together with the D700 i order the new 24-70mm 2.8.
For your sports and wildlife you can also use a converter instead of your cropfactor, and use a higher iso to compare.
I went from the D100 to the D300 and almost immediately bought the D700 and had used both bodies for the last 4 months or so. After using both bodies side by side I now am trying to sell my D300 (which is not as easy as I thought it would be) because the D700 is just so much better with low noise at high ISO's which is what I tend to shoot a lot of these days.
I had decided even when I bought my D300 that I would stick with FF glass, so the decision to sell the D300 was not a hard one once I was able to compare them side by side. Still, the D300 is a super camera and I am going to miss the 1.5x factor with the 70-200mm lens, but I have found that I can put on my 1.4TC on the D700 and get the same results (in real general terms) over using the D300 without the TC so I will go back to using one body and try to pick up the 14-24mm for the D700, can't wait to see what those results are going to do on the D700. Scott
Don't know if this will help your decision process but Berger-Bros has the D700 for $2699.99. I too had (have a D200) and just got my D700 on Thursday. Haven't put it to good use yet but the few shots around the house of my granddaughter has impressed me so far. I'm taking shots without a flash that I would never be able to get with my D200.
Rick S U.S.Army (Ret) Blessings come from many directions. Make sure you look around. Prov 3:5, God Bless.
I sold my D200 yesterday and picked up a D700 today.
Wow, what a perfect camera. I am very happy i did not bought any DX lenses in the past. I have the Nikkors 20-35mm 2.8D, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 105DC 2.0 and 180mm 2.8. This cam loves these beautiful lenses. Just playing whith the D700 for a few hours now, but the high iso, color, sharpness, detail is perfect.
I am not a wildlife or sports shooter, i like portraits, architecture and landscapes. Don't have experience with the D300, but for my kind of photography this is the perfect choice.
Nikon did a verry good job here. Now i have to excuse myself, i need to play further with my D700 before i go to sleep
I impulse purchased the D300. In my case it was a stupid purchase and I have pretty much regretted it from day one. It gave me some problems right out of the box and to add insult to injury it was an outsourced build. When I reviewed the D700 specs including the fact that it was a Sendai build, I ordered one. It is a joy to own and everything the D300 never was, worth every penny of the extra cost. I boxed the D300 and never looked back.
Given that you intend to keep the D200 I'd seriously recommend the D700. Use the 18-200 & 10.5 on the D200 until such time as you can replace them with FX equivalent lenses. The 18-200VR is a versatile lens but I'm certain you'll be disappointed with it in DX mode on the D700 - in fact I think you'd start to be disappointed with it on a D300 too. I've had two at various times and sold them both.
I've been through the entire D1/D2/D3 gamut of pro cameras and also D100/D200 & D50/D70's and find myself now with a matched D3 & D700. With the exception of the annoying control differences between the D3 & D700, I'm totally in awe of the D700. I find myself using it as my primary travel camera and the image quality is identical to the D3. I couldn't say that about the D300 or D200 and my D2X's.
One thing I do find myself doing is using the D700 with both AF & manual focus primes. You'll love that 50/1.4 on the D700. Don't worry about the 70-200VR stories - it's a GREAT lens on the D700 and the vignette issues are overblown IMHO.